Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
“That *ss…” Many looked at Yi Xiaoshi and thought he was asking for a beating.
The Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty had provoked the ones from the Barren State before, and now they were being run over. It was truly vexing with Yi Xiaoshi being able to speak in such a nonchalant tone. Furthermore, they all had come that far. If the last one standing from Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty were to shirk from a fight, the dynasty would be severely embarrassed, more so than if they were to lose a battle.
Zhou Qing was the only one left from the four of the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty who had yet to come out and fight. He glared at Yi Xiaoshi before him coldly, then walked out. Of the remaining four from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, he was the weakest. If the dynasty side was said to be brimming with confidence before Zhou You challenged Phoenix, when Zhou You had sustained injuries despite defeating Phoenix, and both Zhou Yan and Zhou Luoyun were defeated, Zhou Qing really had lost all confidence facing one from the Barren State. However, it was not permissible for him to shirk from the fight.
“After you,” Zhou Qing said coldly.
The fat guy held his head high and had a brimming smile on his face, lashing out with the Emperor’s Vines, shinning brilliantly. Zhou Qing became bathed in golden fire all over his body. A brilliant Phoenix’s shadow appeared and when the vines came near, its fires burned them. However, the vines simply became golden fires and continued to lash out at their intended target instead.
Boom… An even more violent aura burst, and the Phoenix’s shadow on Zhou Qing appeared in a glittering manner. The vines, which were unable to be burned by fire, were snuffed out and turned into ashes by the golden fires on Zhou Qing when the vines came near. Yet at the very same time, everyone’s eyes looked at the other corner. There was a boundlessly huge golden shadow continuing to grow over there.
“Grow, grow, grow!” the fat guy stared at the huge body and yelled.
“This again?” Everyone’s eyes froze and they witness the golden body of an ancient god continuing to grow, feeling rather speechless. The near-hundred-meter-tall giant that looked like a god came to stand before Zhou Qing shortly after. It did not continue to grow. Boundless brilliant golden light showered below and melded with the giant. The ancient god’s body lifted its leg and stomped on Zhou Qing. If the move had been a hit, it would probably have killed Zhou Qing right there and then.
Winds howled and golden fires swept all over the place. The Phoenix’s shadow behind Zhou Qing flapped its wings hard and retreated backward like a bolt of lightning.
Boom! With a loud rumble, the ancient god’s foot stepped onto the forum stage, but the golden lightning had fled its range and escaped from being stomped. Winds tore through the air as Zhou Qing cranked his speed to the limit. Golden Lightning streaked through the air, heading for Yi Xiaoshi.
At that very moment, the incredibly huge arm of the ancient god was extended and reached for Zhou Qing, but Zhou Qing’s speed was so fast that the hand would probably have a hard time catching up. However, Zhou Qing saw countless hands split out from the huge palm all of a sudden instead, blocking out the sky like vine-like tentacles. The move blocked the space out right there and then and went for Zhou Qing, making escape impossible.
Zhou Qing’s eyes became tremendously sharp. He, who was clad in golden fires and the body of a Phoenix, zapped to a corner, tearing the vines as he continued to shoot outside. But then, he quickly saw that the vines seemed to be endless, seeming to continue to grow in numbers. He was still accelerating as the tremendously hot glow of the Phoenix, which he clad himself in, continued to cut everything in his path.
Everyone outside saw Yi Xiaoshi still growing his vines furiously and knew that he was unleashing his most versed power of rules: Rules of Growth. The ancient god’s body had an arm that turned completely into vines, which shone with terrifying glow seen penetrating from within. Everything knew that it was Zhou Qing in there.
Boom. The huge ancient god’s arm was torn off right. The shoulder connecting to the arm yanked, and a new giant arm grew out from the stub immediately. Incredibly hot golden glow burst and lashed out with the might of the heavens. At almost the very same time, Zhou Qing’s body turned into golden lightning and shot out, shattering the arm that was torn earlier, yet, a huge golden fist soon came for him.
Zhou Qing’s face looked extremely pale at that very instant. He knew that there was no retreat. His only way left was forward.
The fist and the golden Phoenix clashed. The huge fist cracked with a strong light bursting. Cracking noises were heard from the arm of the ancient god at the same time, which crumbled shortly after. There was even terrifying golden light shooting right through the giant, making its body tremble.
Zhou Qing’s body was similarly rattled. The Phoenix’s shadow turned pale and he spat up blood. His face looked pale as he felt his internal organs being ruptured, staring the one before him with cold eyes.
“Zhou Qing lost.” Many took a deep breath. The grandstands appeared extremely quiet. However, the aura on Zhou Qing burst again, as if to say that he had no intention of backing out yet.
“You want to fight some more?” Yi Xiaoshi’s voice was heard, and golden light shimmered. The torn arm of the ancient god coalesced and became whole again, shining with golden light. Zhou Qing’s face went utterly pale at the scene. He only realized at that moment that he had not been battling Yi Xiaoshi himself, but the shadow of a giant that fat guy summoned. The shadow contained Yi Xiaoshi’s powers.
Despair was written all over Zhou Qing’s face.
Its strong shimmering light dimmed again, and Zhou Qing looked on with an awful expression. He then turned around to leave, making it clear that he was giving up on the fight. The huge ancient god’s body gradually dissipated, and Yi Xiaoshi rubbed his brow, feeling his spiritual powers being exhausted.
But then again, there is probably no other sacred ground that would dare look down on the Barren State anymore, eh?
The four battles between the ones from Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty and the ones from the Barren State resulted in three losses for the dynasty. The only one who won was the number one from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, Zhou You, fighting Phoenix, who was not deemed all that strong amongst the ones from the Barren State. If it had been a fight between the two major sacred grounds, then the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty would have suffered a crushing defeat.
From their fights with Zhisheng Cliffs to the ones with the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty, the ones from the Barren State proved their worth again and again even as they were only six of them left on the forum stage. Furthermore, three among them had made it to the next stage.
Yu Sheng’s powers definitely qualified for him to move to the next stage, which meant that in the upcoming top 50, there would be at least four emerging from Barren State, and they remained the most numerous compared to the other sacred grounds.
Where is their limit? Many turned their eyes at the Zhou Sacred King, wondering what was going on in his head at the moment. However, the king looked calm and nothing was able to be told from his face. Instead, the Sky Saint who sat beside him smiled and said, “We’ve had dark horses emerge from every Nine State Forum held in the past. Sacred Grounds fought against each other and mighty ones were many. But there has never been a Nine State Forum in the past like this one. The Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State has not participated in the Nine State Forum for many years, yet they became the one with the most number of participants remaining in the top hundred, maybe even the top 50. I guess no one saw that coming, eh?”
“It is rather surprising,” the leading figure from the Xia clan of Summer State said. After all, the Holy Zhi Palace did not even have saints, to begin with.
The Zhou Sacred King turned to look at Ye Futian’s direction and said, “Being able to beat three mighty ones from the Great Zhou Sacred Dynasty. Ye Futian, your people from the Barren State really surprised me. Everyone was fooled by your appearance before the Nine State Forum was held. Even Saint Xihua thought you to be low-profiled and humble. From the looks of things now, it seems that you’ve got quite an ambition.”
Everyone turned their eyes to look at Ye Futian. Thinking about it now, Ye Futian had fooled everyone present.
“Please, senior. This is the first time the Barren State is participating in a gathering of nine states like this and appearing one such stage. Hell, this is the first time I’ve been outside the Barren State. I’ve only been to Eastern State for less than half a year, and there was no way I would have been able to tell how strong the students of sacred grounds from the other states were. I’ve participated in the Nine State Forum to learn, and the very reason I ventured outside the Barren State was so that we could grow, hoping that we will eventually have a saint among us, preventing the sacred ground of Barren State from being taken apart. It just so happens that some students of the Barren State come to surprise me.” Ye Futian looked at the king with a calm, collected expression, appearing neither submissive nor proud. Everyone looked at the exchange with a peculiar expression. Ye Futian did sound sincere with his words, and there was nothing anyone was able to say to retort.
Ye Futian was participating in the Nine State Forum and venturing outside the Barren State for the first time, after all. They were simply unable to say anything about that.
“We jumped the gun and thought the people of Barren State to be weak just because they had no saint. You seem to have overstated things, claiming to be fooled by Palace Lord Ye, Sacred King.” The Glass Saint smiled and added, “The students of the Barren State had a hard time coming this far from the very beginning.”
Ye Futian looked at the Glass Saint. zshe happened to look at him as well. There was a faint smile in her eyes, which looked incredibly alluring. Ye Futian smiled and nodded in gratitude, not anticipating the Glass Saint to be speaking on his behalf.
The king took a look at the Glass Saint and thought that the girl he had been seeing in his dreams was still just as charming after all those years. He smiled and said, “You’re right. It is indeed my fault for appearing so small-minded.”
“Speaking of which, the mistake that the Glass Saint spoke of was one that I have made before as well. I never thought the students of the Barren State to be able to make it this far. People really shouldn’t be bound only by what they know. We’re now fooled by ourselves.” Saint Xihua smiled and said, “But then again, the Zhou Sacred King has always been frank, and it is not that he has anything against Ye Futian. With the students fighting in the Nine State Forum, it is inevitable that students of sacred grounds clash with each other. As the clashes only happen once in three years, it goes without saying that the more intense the clashes, the better. We old people should just sit back and watch the show.”
“Indeed.” The Glass Saint smiled.
“Speaking of which, I’m rather curious now. With the group from the Barren State being able to make it this far, the students of sacred grounds from the other eight states are now evidently overshadowed by the ones from the Holy Zhi Palace of the Barren State. We should really reflect on ourselves and think of better ways to teach our students,” Saint Xihua said with a smile and looked at the forum stage below, adding, “Don’t mind us, just carry on.”
At that moment, a figure was seen walking out, and many wore peculiar expressions before their eyes turned to sparkle with excitement. “Ji Hua of the Hall of Holy Light.”
Ji Hua’s powers were extremely formidable, and each of his battles before ended in mere seconds. He forged through with incredible force. No one was able to stand in his way for long, making him a very popular candidate in this year’s Nine State Forum. Many thought he would definitely make it to the top ten and that he might actually be ranked in the top three. All of that spoke volume of his prowess.
The first participant to walk out from the Hall of Holy Light in this year’s Nine State Forum was none other than Ji Hua, the strongest among them.
Ji Hua turned his eyes at the direction where the Barren State participants were. There were three who had yet to do battle: Yu Sheng, Ye Wuchen, and Yuan Zhan. All three of them had formidable powers, and Yu Sheng was the strongest among them all. He was most curious about how far Yu Sheng, among the ones remaining from the Barren State, would be able to go and whether or not Yu Sheng had what it took to stand before him in the top ten battles.
“You then,” Ji Hua said as his eyes turned towards Yuan Zhan.
“Yet another one to challenge the Barren State.” Many in the grandstands talked. Ji Hua of the Hall of Holy Light challenged Yuan Zhan of the Barren State. It seemed that Barren State was simply too eye-catching at the moment. There were still six of them on the forum stage, and none of the top class geniuses wanted to be overshadowed by them, as it would have made all the other sacred grounds look rather bad. While the participants from the Barren State this year were indeed very formidable, none of those from the other sacred grounds wanted to be overshadowed by the Barren State’s brilliance. As such, Ji Hua chose to challenge someone from the Barren State.
There are too many of them from the Barren State left.
Yuan Zhan walked out. His stout body still felt imposing and brought pressure to bear on others. His aura was immensely thick. However, Ji Hua burst with brilliant light at that moment, and beams of blinding light shot around them, shining into Yuan Zhan’s eyes. He was unable to help but shut his eyes, shielding them with his arm.
The light was just too blinding. It was not only Yuan Zhan who felt so. All who sat on the grandstands looked at Ji Hua and felt blinding light emanating from him. Ji Hua’s body slowly took to the air and shone brilliantly, like he was a descendant of the gods, shimmering with overwhelmingly dazzling light.
Even though Yuan Zhan’s aura was incredibly formidable, when Ji Hua’s light was brought to bear, it became clear that he was the main character of that battlefield. No one else could have stolen Ji Hua’s thunder.
Ye Futian sat on the Barren State’s area of grandstands and looked at Ji Hua. While the Rules of Light of the Hall of Holy Light did not possess inherent offensive capabilities, it was still a terrifying type of power of rules. It was said that the Hall of Holy Light’s Holy Light spell was capable of melding all types of power within the Rules of Light, bringing greater power to bear. The minimum requirement for learning the Holy Light spell was to develop comprehension of the power of rules of light. As such, the Hall of Holy Light had very few true core students, but all of their core students were impressive geniuses with exceedingly rare talents, making them tremendously terrifying beings.
It seems like Yuan Zhan will have a tough fight ahead of him, Ye Futian thought. However, he was hardly surprised. Among the top hundred and participants from nearly 30 remaining sacred grounds, the strongest students of all those sacred grounds were present. The Barren State had seven making it to the top hundred, so it was normal for them to run into opponents of such classes.
Blinding light was shot at Yuan Zhan, making it difficult for him to open his eyes. He was able to see nothing but light when he opened his eyes. His opponent had developed very proficient use of the Rules of Light.
Yuan Zhan lowered his arm while still having his eyes shut. His consciousness was also filled with holy, dazzling light. At the source of the light stood an incredibly bright figure, who was none other than Ji Hua.
Boom. Yuan Zhan stepped forward and rushed to that spot where Ji Hua stood. The light turned even more intense. A row of swords appeared before Ji Hua: Swords of Light. The offensive capacity of swords had always been formidable. It was anyone’s guess how powerful such attacks were when they were melded with light.
Boom. Yuan Zhan’s body turned even stouter and larger. Beams of golden light pierced through his body as he opened his acupoints. He extended his hand and a golden staff materialized. The ape went straight into berserk mode before the battle had actually begun. It was apparent that he knew that his opponent this time was very powerful as well.
Ji Hua remained standing where he was. Extremely dazzling light continued to encase the space he was in. He waved his hand nonchalantly. In an instant, the Swords of Holy Light shot out. A row of streaks of light cut through the space as they came for Yuan Zhan. The speed at which at the attacks moved made it nearly impossible for him to evade.
Yuan Zhan roared and swept his golden staff, clashing on the Swords of Light. Golden light coursed through his body at the same time, laying sturdy physical defense, as his opponent’s attacks were incredibly dangerous.
The light from the swords rampaged with a loud rumble. The staff was unable to catch all of the attacks of the Swords of Holy Light. They were many that landed on Yuan Zhan’s body, making lacerations on his golden physical body, cutting his defenses open.
Yuan Zhan continued moving forward as if he had felt nothing. He wanted to end the fight as soon as possible, and there was nothing else for him to do so. However, at that very moment, the holy light grew even more blinding as it encased Ji Hua’s body. He extended his hand and swords of light and shadow of untold numbers appeared. He opened his palm and countless swords of light rushed at Yuan Zhan’s body. Yuan Zhan returned with an angry roar and stopped moving forward, swiping his staff before him, laying down a screen of shadows of the staff.
“Holy Light Sword, Judgment,” Ji Hua said, and everyone saw countless swords of light gushed at Yuan Zhan. The ape’s screen of shadows of the staff blocked many of the swords’ advance, but there was still quite a number that made it through the openings.
Yuan Zhan swung his staff around trying to resist the attacks, but then he heard Ye Futian say, “Yuan Zhan, that’s enough.” Ye Futian knew from watching the attacks that Yuan Zhan would be pinned without any way to retaliate, making it impossible for the ape to win against Ji Hua.
Yuan Zhan swiped one last attack with a rumble and backed away. Countless lacerations were seen on his golden body. He was covered in blood as well, making it obvious that he was injured. Ye Futian had him retreat so as to not have him fight any further, as there was no such need.
The light dissipated and Ji Hua remained hovering in midair like some kind of god.
“Invincible.” The word emerged from the minds of many as they watched Ji Hua hovering in the air. The Holy Light spell of the Hall of Holy Light was simply too terrifying. Ji Hua, who had developed extremely proficient use of the Rules of Light, looked utterly invincible. There was no one so far who was able to pose even the slight threat to him.
Yuan Zhan’s powers had been incredibly formidable, and it was evident to everyone who saw his previous battles. However, there was still left to the imagination as to who would come out on top when they faced Ji Hua. That battle seemed to showcase Ji Hua’s immense strength.
“That is indeed the strongest figure from the Hall of Holy Light,” Saint Xihua said. The Hall of Holy Light of Qi State was an immensely fearsome sacred ground.
“This year’s Nine State Forum is really getting more and more interesting.” The Sky Saint smiled. The clashes of titans were getting increasingly close with one extremely formidable figures being eliminated one after another.